EasyJet plans Austria base as insurance against Brexit

An Airbus A321 of English low-cost passenger carrier easyJet

An Airbus A321 of English low-cost passenger carrier easyJet

The new structure will mean that easyJet would become a pan European airline group with three separate businesses based in Austria, Switzerland and the UK.

In March, the airline, which serves more than 30 countries, said a bilateral aviation agreement was a "minimum requirement" from Brexit negotiations.

The application "will allow EasyJet to establish a new airline, EasyJet Europe, which will be headquartered in Vienna and will enable EasyJet to continue to operate flights both across Europe and domestically within European countries after the United Kingdom has left the EU", the no-frills airline said in a statement.

EasyJet still faces legal uncertainty over whether it will be able to fly between the United Kingdom and Europe, and on what terms, after Brexit.

EasyJet is seeking to protect its rights to fly between destinations in European Union countries after Brexit takes effect, in the event the United Kingdom fails to reach an agreement on retaining access to those routes for its airlines.

An easyJet spokeswoman said: "Given the importance of aviation to all the economies of Europe as an enabler of trade, tourism and travel, we think it is important that the aviation market remains as open and competitive as possible".

EasyJet now has an airline based in Switzerland, as well as its United Kingdom operation.

This will enable easyJet to continue to operate flights both across Europe and domestically within European countries after the United Kingdom has left the EU.

easyJet said it had selected Austria because of its strict implementation of European safety regulations and the fact that it should be able to handle large numbers of planes thanks to its experience with other major airlines.

EasyJet adds that the staff and aircraft which will operate for the new division are "already employed and based" in non-UK member countries of the European Union.

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